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News June 08, 2023

PUD Crews Head to Guam to Aid in Restoration Efforts

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PUD Crews Head to Guam to Aid in Restoration Efforts

Snohomish County PUD crews pose for a picture before leaving early Wednesday morning for Guam. The crews and support staff will aid in restoration efforts.

Crew members will work to restore power on the island, which was hit by a typhoon in May

Snohomish County PUD recently sent crew members, equipment and vehicles to Guam to help the U.S. island territory recover from a devastating typhoon that knocked out power to most of its 150,000 residents.

The 15 lineworkers, equipment operators and mechanics, who began their journey to Guam early Wednesday morning, will assist Guam Power Authority (GPA) in its restoration efforts. The PUD is also sending two transmission line trucks and a mechanics truck to aid in the effort.

“Helping other utilities in their time of need through mutual aid agreements is an important part of being a public power utility,” said John Haarlow, Snohomish PUD CEO/General Manager. “We’re proud to be able to play a small part and send some of our best to get the lights back on for the people of Guam.”

In the aftermath of the typhoon, President Joe Biden declared a major disaster for the territory, allowing utilities to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. PUD staff will be reimbursed by GPA for their work on the island.

“Guam’s system is similar to the PUD’s and our crews will be performing work that they are familiar with,” said Aaron Janisko, PUD Senior Manager Regional Design and Construction Services. “Our crews are very experienced in storm restoration, and we’re glad we can help in some way.”

The PUD anticipates that its crews and support staff will be working in Guam for approximately a month.

Typhoon Mawar slammed into Guam on May 24, causing widespread devastation on the island and knocking out power to nearly all of GPA’s 52,000 customers. GPA officials reached out to American Public Power Association to request mutual aid assistance.